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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 April 2019

Ronaldo returns from injury to get Juventus crucial Champions League away goal against Ajax

Goal gives Italian champions upper hand in 1-1 away draw against Ajax in first leg of quarter-finals

Juventus' Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League first leg quarter-final football match between Ajax and Juventus. AFP 
Juventus' Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League first leg quarter-final football match between Ajax and Juventus. AFP 

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri hailed star striker Cristiano Ronaldo as being in a class of his own after he bagged a precious away goal in their 1-1 Champions League quarter-final draw at Ajax on Wednesday.

Ronaldo put Juventus in front on the stroke of half-time with a diving header to take his record goal tally in the competition to 125.

But then Brazilian winger David Neres levelled after half-time to put the tie on a knife edge for next week's return leg in Turin.

"Ronaldo showed that he is on a different level," Allegri told Sky Sport Italia. "His timing and movement is different to everyone else's. There's nothing you can do about it.

"He is a player who just has a different technique than the others."

Ronaldo was returning from a two-week injury layoff.

Ajax piled on the pressure at the Johann Cruyff Arena, going close several times before Douglas Costa nearly delivered a late sucker punch for Juve but struck the woodwork.

Ajax's spectacular comeback from a 2-1 first-leg home defeat to Real Madrid with a thumping 4-1 win at the Santiago Bernabeu in the previous round showed that the tie is far from over.

"It's a good result because we scored away from home. The tie is still open," said Allegri, who is looking to guide Juve to their first Champions League since 1996, when they beat Ajax in Rome.

"We were good defensively, the team was nice and compact. There is good reason to think we can get to the semi-finals.

"We are not worried, we have great respect for Ajax but you have to be ready. One each is better than 0-0. In Turin we will have to play to win."

Updated: April 11, 2019 10:16 AM

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